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ICC change CWC teams from 12 to 10

October 16, 2010

Over the 12th and 13th of October the ICC board met in Dubai to discuss, among other things, the Future Tours Programme.

One of the suggestions that was approved was that the amount of countries entering cricket world cup from 2015 onwards will be reduced from 12 down to 10. I find that this is the completely wrong decision as it does nothing at all to help promote the game. There are currently 10 test playing nations in the world, and realistically we have to say that those 10 countries will qualify. By reducing it they are taking out the places for the likes of Ireland, Afghanistan, The Netherlands and so on. And for what? Why on earth did they approve this? It does nothing at all to help the game, in fact, it does the opposite. It will discourage the game.

Cricket in Ireland has improved greatly since their success in the 2007 world cup, and it will grow even more after the next world cup in Feb/March 2011. The 2007 world cup raised the profile of Irish cricket and got the sport so many more fans in Ireland, including myself. Without the world cup cricket in Ireland would not be as developed as it now is. Now, it is not perfect and there are still several improvements that could be made to the sport here, but we have advanced so much more since 2007. Realistically speaking Ireland will not qualify for the 2015 Zimbabwe world cup. This can only harm cricket in Ireland. I believe that Ireland are on the verge of becoming a full nation, not just yet, but over the next few years they should receive the honour of test cricket. If they don’t qualify will that discourage the Ireland team, management and fans? I believe so.

Also in this meeting the ICC approved the decision to raise the amount of teams entering the world Twenty20 up to 16, with the women’s competition continuing to run alongside it. In contrast, I feel that this is the right decision. This certainly encourages the game. This decision opens the game up to the like of Scotland, The United Arab Emirates and Canada. It will give them something more to strive for and will certainly help the development of cricket in their respective nations.

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Ten Doeschate – Associate and Affiliate player of the year 2010

October 6, 2010

In a completely different result to my earlier poll result, the esteemed award of ‘Associate and affiliate player of the year’ went to Dutch international Ryan ten Doeschate. Ten Doeschate previously won this same award back in 2008.

Ten Doeschate was born in South Africa, but is of Dutch heritage thus enabling him to play for the Netherlands. He also played for Western province. His current county is Essex in England. Ryan is an all-rounder and plays as a right hand batter and a right arm medium fast bowler. Ten Doeschate made his ODI debut for The Netherlands in 2006 against Sri Lanka, and signed for county Essex in 2003 and since then has only grown in strength.

His ODI record is quite impressive with both the bat and ball. In just 27 matches, the 30 year old has scored 3 centuries and 8 half-centuries and has scored 1,234 runs in total. With the ball Ryan has taken 48 wickets in the same 27 matches and has let 1005 runs be scored off him. within those 48 wickets he has also taken three 4-wicket hauls.

Overall Ryan ten Doeschate has been a superb player over the past year. While I personally would have preferred to have seen an Irish winner of the award, I do agree that Ten Doeschate is very deserving winner of this award for the second time. Congratulations Ryan! 🙂

An Irish winner?

October 6, 2010

I have just closed the poll for ‘Who will win associate and affiliate player of the year award 2010?’. The vote ended as a tie between Irish player Trent Johnston, and fellow Irishman, Kevin O’Brien. Neither Ryan ten Doeschate or Mohammad Shahzad received any votes in my poll. This means that my readers here believe that an Irish player deserves to win the award.

I am probably still gazing through my green-tinted glasses when I say that I too believe that an Irish player deserves to win. I believe this because both Johnston and O’Brien have played brilliantly this season and definitely deserve recognition for their efforts. The award ceremony will be on later today and I will post the result along with a full synopsis of the successful player for those of you who may not know him.

Associate and Affiliate player of the year award 2010 goes to…?

September 25, 2010

Irish cricketers Trent Johnston and Kevin O’Brien have recently been shortlisted to win the esteemed ‘Associate and Affiliate Player Of The Year’ award. Last years winner was fellow Irishman William Porterfield. The other two players up for contention are Ryan Ten Doeschate (Ned) and Mohammad Shahzad (Afg). The winner will be announced in the LG ICC award ceremony on Oct. 6th.

I thoroughly believe that Johnston and O’Brien deserve their place on the shortlist. They have both been outstanding for Ireland this past year.  Ten Doeschate has also been impressive this year for both county club and country. I haven’t seen enough of Shahzad this year to be able to comment fairly on his form, but to be shortlisted for this award is a sign enough alone to show that this young 19 year old wicket-keeper/batsman has shown some prowess while playing for Afghanistan.

I am now going to open a poll asking the readers of my blog who they think deserves to win the Associate and Affiliate Player Of The Year award this year. I will leave it open until October 5th as the ceremony will be taking place the next day. My vote will be going to Kevin O’Brien, but I may be looking through green-tinted glasses though!

Has the integrity of the game been damaged?

September 1, 2010

The spot-fixing scandal surrounding Pakistan has had a huge impact on the cricketing world; on the Pakistani players who have been implicated, on the England team, and, on the integrity of the game. I really got thinking about how the integrity of cricket itself has been damaged. As an Irish person and an Irish cricket fan, I am very much interested in seeing Ireland get test status, and it seems to me that the Ireland team and all the background staff are doing everything in their power to achieve this. Ireland would give anything to be able to play full, 5 day, test cricket as Pakistan do, and then Pakistan tarnish this honour by fixing games. To me, being able to represent your country in the highest level must be one of the biggest honours a cricketer can receive, so why are Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif throwing this all away just to make some money? If they are found to be guilty then they will receive life-long bans from cricket.

When I watch a cricket match I expect both teams to be walking onto the pitch in an equal state. A revelation like this really does affect the honesty of the game. Young children watch these matches on television, or live in Lords etc, and will grow up seeing the people they look up to showing this type of dishonest behaviour. Do we want the cricketers of tomorrow to also fix matches because that is what their heroes did? No. Players like Butt, Asif and Amir do nothing to help the game and if they are found guilty nothing short of a lifetime ban will be acceptable. Yes, it will be a huge waste of talent, but measures like this have to be taken to ensure this never happens again.

News of the World shake the cricket world

August 29, 2010

In a day that England had a magnificent victory, the cricket headlines have been completely dominated by news of the biggest match-fixing scandal to ever hit the cricket world.

On Saturday night Scotland Yard detectives came to the Pakistan team’s hotel and searched the rooms taking large sums of money off the players and also taking the mobile phones off Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Pakistan skipper, Salman Butt.

This scam was ousted in today’s edition of the News of the World with the headline; ‘Caught! Match fixer pockets £150 K as he rigs England test at Lords’. The newspaper reporters describe how they went undercover as ‘front men for a far East gambling cartel’ so as to get match-fixer Mazhár Majeed to reveal how much money he illegally gained through match-fixing, and, just exactly how he managed to do it.

It was proven when he described 3, pre-arranged, no balls to the News of the World reporters. These no balls were to be bowled by Pakistan bowlers while playing their final test against England in Lords. Then, just as described, on Thursday and Friday, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif bowled the three no balls that will change their entire cricket careers.

Personally I think it’s disgraceful that something like this could happen. At a time when Pakistan is under one of the worst floods of it’s history, a revelation like this will do nothing to lift the spirits of this cricket crazy nation.

Stuart Broad scored his first ever century in Lords on Friday, Graeme Swann took his first ever 5 wicket haul at Lords today, two fantastic achievements. But have these great landmarks been tarnished by these allegations? Yes and no. Mostly no, but in 5 years time will people remember this test because of the great performances from the Nottinghamshire duo, or because it has surely marked the end of some Pakistan cricket careers? My vote is with the latter. If you would like to read the News of the World article in full, then follow this link;

http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/news/924349/Cricket-in-the-dock-as-we-expose-match-fixing-scandal-England-Pakistan-Test-no-balls-bribes.html

Ireland crack top ten

August 19, 2010

After a clean sweep against the Netherlands in their two match series Ireland have now moved up to 10th in the world ODI rankings just behind full member nation Bangladesh.

The series, which was held in Clontarf, Dublin started on Monday last. Ireland won the first ODI by 70 runs largely thanks to a maiden one day century from Gary Wilson. The second ODI was held yesterday and Ireland completely dominated the game bowling The Netherlands all out for a mere 125 runs after 47.2 overs. In reply Ireland scored 129 runs in 20.3 overs for the loss of one wicket.

These two wins over the Dutch side have now given Ireland enough points to break the top 10 of the ODI rankings and come in at number ten. Ireland are now the only non test playing country to be in the top ten of the world OSI rankings. As Ireland pace bowler Trent Johnston tweeted last night, ‘Go on the boys in Green’!

If you want to see the world test and ODI rankings and full, click this link http://www.cricinfo.com/rankings/content/current/page/211271.html